Why I exercise

One day a switch got flipped in my brain and I realized life was too short to let a scale or mirror control what I ate or how I moved. Now I enjoy what I eat and enjoy movement with my sole focus of feeling well.

Many folks are always looking for the weightloss magic bullet and some believe it could be a specific workout. Why should anyone bother to read a blog about exercise if the blogger is still obese according to BMI charts after over a decade of regular exercise?  For those who assume, I should just *diet* more or eat less,  what is the point of eating in a way I cannot continue to eat for the rest of my life for a temporary weightloss just to look better in the mirror?  I see no point in doing anything other than eating mostly nutritionally while avoiding overeating.  In other words, to eat the way I can eat the rest of my life.  Also if I were to attain a BMI recommended weight, I would be unhealthy.  My large boned, mesomorphic, short body just wasn't meant to be average on a BMI chart.   For me,  "Fitness is not about looking good today but feeling good tomorrow. It is also about having a tomorrow."

Please please please
research Statins before following your doctors advice.
I found out the hard way that Lipitor was my largest obstacle to feeling well.
It created all sorts of deficiencies in my otherwise healthy body, giving just a placebo effect of protection from whatever it is claimed it can do for women.

I, seemingly, started this blog with its focus being my *never ending plateau* but its real focus is why I continue to exercise regularly in spite of not having that #1 desired exercise result: weightloss.
There are many more benefits from exercise than weightloss, benefits which are definitely more important to me than just weightloss alone, including mood elevation, better sleep, lubrication of joints, boosted immunity, and lastly, weight maintenance.  Without appreciating these other benefits, exercise probably will not become a permanent part of one's lifestyle, especially if one gives up on achieving the weightloss altogether.  Even if the desired  weightloss is achieved, exercise may then become ignored and forgotten till the weight starts to return and the vicious cycle of starting all over begins, again and again.   I am hoping that sharing what I have experienced may help others in managing all of the elements needed to achieve a feeling of wellbeing each and everyday  because during my journey, I discovered that exercise was my magic bullet for physical and emotional health.

Mother's Day has become my official anniversary for making exercise a regular part of my lifestyle because without it, I was existing in a *deathstyle*, more or less waiting to die.  After turning 50, I was very depressed because of many coinciding personal issues, plus a mess from physical ailments (sleep deprivation, hormonal imbalance and chronic pain) till I discovered TaeBo.  Most physical ailments are exaggerated by emotional stress and most emotional issues are exaggerated by physical stress. Wellness needs both physical and emotional issues under control.  This blog was started on my 11th anniversary of regular exercise at the age of 61 (I figured I should do the math for y'all in case confused LOL).  I lost most of my excess 25 pounds within the first 6 months, doing about 30 minutes a day of TaeBo, before hitting my lifetime setpoint.   I tried various ways of eating and exercising to break that plateau and lower my setpoint but nothing seemed to work so I learned to stop fighting Mother Nature and my genetics. Just enjoy being alive and moving.

I did find only 30 minutes a day of TaeBo soon after turning 50 made me instantly *lighter* but more importantly, physically stronger and emotionally happier even though I did a lot of modifying. This older gal does not do doubletimes or excessive reps and sees no reason to do them.  In spite of shows like The Biggest Loser, I do not believe long bouts of high intensity is a good thing for anyone but highly trained athletes who need it for their profession.  Whenever, I tried higher intensity for too long or too often,  I found it a magic bullet for potential injury, overtraining, and frustration because of increased appetite and in turn, increased weight.  Overtraining symptoms (pain, fatigue, trouble sleeping, moodiness, etc.) are the exact opposite of the benefits I seek from exercise so exercise abuse can be even worse than no exercise at all!
Ironically, the only time other than after a bout of food poisoning that I broke through the lower end of my plateau during the past 10 years was when doing 90 minutes a day of low intensity exercise for several months.   Weightloss was at a slow rate at one to two pounds a month but was happening. However, this routine became boring  and I started missing many of the workouts that I enjoyed but couldn't modify downwards enough so I started to lose my enthusiasm for working out, even though my joints loved this phase.  I had planned to return to low intensity exclusively each Autumn when the weather turned cooler if my joints started complaining but never actually did.

I am really liking this new formula of working out 30 minutes then taking a 20 minute break and finishing with another 30 minutes of exercise.  Previously, I was pooping at the 40 minute mark but now feel like I am doing a full 60 minutes of exercise without feeling drained.  Eventually, I may switch to another workout formula when my mind and body need it.  Intensity and duration are flexible as long as balanced.  If one prefers higher intensity, the duration should be shorter and conversely, if one prefers lower intensity the duration should be longer. It takes the same amount of energy (calories) to walk a mile as run a mile.  Walking just takes a little longer.  If somebody prefers to walk in shorter doses (Sparks), it is all accumulative.

Bottomline, if exercise is to become a permanent part of promoting wellbeing,  it is essential to find what kind of movement feels good and what kind doesn't.  What is fun and enjoyable and what is not. No point in doing movement that will create dread or discomfort because it will not be continued.  There are all sorts of workout styles out there on dvd/vhs, tv, online, books, and live classes. Some are even free!  When weather is permitting, a walk in the sunshine can really help physically and mentally, offering Vitamin D as a bonus.
Absolutely love walking on the Atlantic City boardwalk when the sun is shining.  I consider my frequent trips to Atlantic City a part of my quest for Wellness in spite of not bothering to bring along a dvd player or laptop, not that I even own a laptop to bring LOL.
Plenty of walking indoors even if weather isn't being cooperative and each hotel has something extra to offer, be it a swimming pool (for wading to avoid wetting my hair), fitness room, free tv workouts. and one even has a dvd player in some of their rooms!  I usually have a resistance band packed as well as some written workouts for bands in the suitcase.

There have been many workout styles, instructors and *toys* which have kept me moving since the earlier days of TaeBo. My interest waned in TaeBo when the Live series with pumping music ended. If you follow this blog, you will eventually hear about all of them.  Currently, I am really enjoying Fitstix, the Urban Rebounder, and revisiting older workouts with both the Fitstix and the UR.
Along the way I found plenty of styles that didn't click for me such as matwork (or just getting down on the floor for anything because of my elbows then back up because of my knees), TIFTTing (Taking It From The Top and repeating the same earlier moves to the point of wanting to scream), complicated footwork (I like to move, not memorize something I will never do again), yoga, and other stuff I prefer to avoid completely if I cannot modify the negatives easily or ignore them while freestyling to the music. Others may love some of the stuff I avoid and avoid what I love so it is really important for everyone to make their own choices when it comes to the pursuit of wellness through movement.  I am always trying new stuff being a variety junkie and very happy when I find a new way to move that is safe, fun and feels good to me.  I love to use my mind when I workout and listen to my body, constantly modifying  to make the workout more enjoyable so I rarely do the same exact workout more than once.  I am my own personal trainer so prefer workingout alone in private rather than play *Follow the Leader* or *Simon Says*  because I know what my body likes and doesn't like better than anyone else.
Just Trust Yourself and find enjoyable ways to keep moving and you will keep moving.

Updates:
I now have a laptop as well as a mobile phones with videos.  Plus I use that laptop to create more enjoyable workouts for myself adding MUsic for MUving and removing moves I do not do.  I am back to working out for about 45 minutes plus sparks with energy since stopping Lipitor and starting CoQ10, mostly alternating between a JumpSport 550f PRO bungee rebounder and stability ball, more recently a Hopper Ball.
In case, you lost count, I turned 65 this year.

7 comments:

  1. I want to invite anyone who may have a question about my exercise choices to feel free to leave a comment/question.

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  2. Hi Barb,
    I wandered over from VF. love your style! ;) You are an inspiring person speaking reason in our skinny-crazy society. Keep it coming!
    Ruth (Topfitmama)

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  3. Thanks Ruth!!! I hope to help people to keep moving by sharing what I have found helps me to keep moving.

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  4. Hi Barb! I wandered over to read your Hot Hula review. What a great idea, to blog about your fitness journey! I plan to read through the entire blog. And I want to borrow your Tae Bo Live tapes, LOL!

    Debbie in 'bama! :-)

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  5. Debbie, get real. You know how expensive it is to mail 11 or more vhs!! Borrowing isn't an option. Besides they are copy protected. Need a special machine to over-ride the protection.

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  6. I found your blog link through VF (I'm a lurker there). I just wanted to say that I love this post and while I share your workout philosophy, I often find myself astray. Thank you for bringing me back to my senses!

    Best,
    Kathleen (flowerpotcat)

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  7. Thanks so much Kathleen!
    Just keep muving :)

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